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One of the leading fashion specialty retailers in the United States, Nordstrom Inc. (JWN - Analyst Report), once again reported robust sales and comparable store sales (comps) growth for the five-week period ended March 31, 2012.
Nordstrom’s comparable store sales grew 8.6% for the month compared with the five-week period ended April 2, 2011. During the reported period, comparable store sales of Nordstrom’s business segments – Nordstrom full-line and Nordstrom Rack – increased 9.3% and 7.3%, respectively, compared with the year-ago period.
Total retail sales climbed 14.7% to $1,029 million from $897 million reported in March last year. As of March 31, 2012, Nordstrom operated 117 Nordstrom full-line stores, 109 Nordstrom Racks (including 2 Jeffrey boutiques, 1 treasure & bond store and 1 clearance store), thus bringing the total store count to 226.
Looking ahead, Nordstrom aims to open three more Nordstrom rack stores in April, one each at the West Farms Shopping Center in Farmington, Connecticut; Boise Town Plaza in Idaho and North Point Market Center in the city of Alpharetta, Georgia.
Quarter-to-date, Nordstrom’s total retail sales climbed 15.3% to $1,733 million, primarily driven by a 9.2% increase in comparable store sales. During the period, the company’s comparable sales at Nordstrom full-line stores registered a year-over-year growth of 10.4%, while at Nordstrom Rack stores comparables sales grew 6.7%.
One of Nordstrom’s competitors, Gap Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report) registered an 8% increase in its March 2012 same-store sales, while net sales came in at $1.46 billion compared with $1.33 billion in the year-ago period.
Nordstrom remains focused on expanding its store network to drive top-line growth. However, sluggish discretionary spending environment, intense competition and exposure to seasonal fluctuations keep us on the sidelines.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Nordstrom Inc. offers high quality apparel, shoes, cosmetics and accessories for men, women and kids. The company offers both branded and private label merchandise, as well as a private label card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards and debit cards for Nordstrom purchases.
Nordstrom maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term ‘Hold’ rating. Our long-term recommendation on the stock remains ‘Neutral’.
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